Every month we bring you an insight into the hottest catering and hospitality talent of the future in our Rising Stars section. This month Lewisham College student Sam Tarneberg talks about his inspirations and aspirations as he prepares for a career in the industry.
Name: Sam Tarneberg
Course Title and College: NVQ Professional Cookery, Level 3, Lewisham College
When did you graduate?: July 2009
When did you first realise you wanted to work in hospitality?: I’ve always enjoyed cooking. At school I was doing GCSEs in Home Economics and Catering and was coming to Lewisham College one day a week on a work related learning programme doing NVQ Professional Cookery Level 1.I knew someone who worked in the industry, and they helped me get some work experience too. I was 14 when I had my first taste in the kitchen at Nobu. I loved every second of it, and from then on, knew I was going to be a chef. I guess I just caught the bug.
What has been your biggest achievement to date?: Although I’ve had some big achievements, I see them as steps forward rather than achievements. Everything that goes well is an achievement. Moving straight from Level 1 to Level 3 at College was a big step though.
Where would you most like to work when you graduate?: I want to work somewhere that’s really going to push me – for someone like Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley or at Le Gavroche. Somewhere where the hours are full on and you get pushed to your limits.
Who do you most admire in the hospitality industry and why?: I don’t really have idols as such. I do admire people like Gordon Ramsay, who’ve come from a rough upbringing and had to make it, but I view all chefs in the same way. I could learn something from all of them.
What are you looking forward to most when you graduate and start work?: I’ve just got on a three year paid apprenticeship with the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. The course I’m on means I’ll get to move around: you do six months in five kitchens and you do a few months with suppliers too, which means I get to do things like spend a month with a chocolatier. It means you get a really amazing grounding. In the final year, I get to spend time in an Asian country, cooking in their kitchen. Usually it’s somewhere like Bangkok. I can’t wait to get started!
What do you think will be the biggest challenges you will face in your career in the hospitality industry?: I plan to move to the US in four or five years' time. I think my biggest challenge will be setting up my own restaurant in a foreign country. The food I cook will be based on really good quality home style cooking, with refined presentation and a modern interpretation. It won’t be fussy or overcomplicated.
Do you know any Rising Stars? If you are a tutor on a hospitality and catering course and would like to put forward a student, or if you are student and want to tell us about your future plans email us at firstname.lastname@example.org